How to Use the Graphing Calculator for Science 1. The Basics: a. Turn it on - bottom left To turn it off - (2nd)bottom left b. Adjusting the display to make it darker. The blue button, then the up arrow to darken, down for lighter c. Normal data entry - just like a regular calculator, except you can chain calculations; try 2x4 (enter), +3 (enter) to see the difference! d. The thing that messes everyone up, and you have to remember: order of priorities. Enter 2+3*4 and hit (enter) - 14, right? What you meant to do is add 3 to 2, then multiply by 4. To do that, you have to either do it in two pieces (see part c above), or use parentheses: (2+3)*4 works. Parentheses are safer, and a good habit to get into for physics. The calculator does exponents first, then multiply/divide, and lastly add/subtract. Anything else: use the parentheses. When in doubt, use the parentheses. e. the (enter) key starts the whole thing off, so put the entire problem down, look it over for boo-boos, then hit enter. f. the other thing that will get you is negative numbers. There are 2 negative keys on the calculator. The one at the bottom next to the enter key is the "negative sign" key, not the SUBTRACTION command key. There's a big difference between these keys for a problem like 4*(-3) = Try 4*-3... 2. Graphing stuff: All the data for a graph is stored in "lists" - to get a look at the lists, hit (stat), then (edit). There are 6 lists available. There are also ways to give them titles, like "time" - this is handy, but not necessary - read your book for details. Let's enter some data in the lists: put 0,1,2,3,4,5,6 in list 1; and put 0,3,6,9,12,15,18 in list 2. If you make a mistake, just use the arrow keys to go to the wrong number, then enter the right one. To graph the data, hit the (stat plot) button on the upper left. This gives you the plots menu. You have three plots available, with choice 4 & 5 turning the whole batch on and off. Select plot 1, hit enter. This is the plot 1 menu. Choices are on/off, type of graph, where the data comes from, what kind of mark do you want. Turn the plot on, pick the first graph choice - points, choose list 1 for the x-axis, list 2 for the y-axis, and the little square box shows up best. Hit the (graph) button on the top right, and you should have a graph. Looks kinda lousy, so hit the (zoom) button on the top row, then choose (9), and it autoscales everything! neato! This still looks kinda ordinary, so go back to the plots menu, and change your graph type to a line - that's the 2nd choice. Hit zoom 9 again, and that's better. There's another way of graphing equations on the calculator, mostly used in math class. Use the (y=) button on the top row, enter the equation, hit (graph) or (zoom9), and there it is. You can change the command on the left to shade below the curve, etc. just like you did back in the 9th grade. How to clear the data in a list: use the arrow keys to move up to L1, then hit (clear), then (enter). It's always a good idea to do this before entering any numbers into the lists.